Dick Francis's Gamble

Dick Francis's Gamble

4.1 35
by Felix Francis
     
 

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One of the youngest winners of the Grand National, Nick “Foxy” Foxton suffered a near-fatal injury that cut short his career. Years later, he’s out for a day at the Grand National races when his colleague, Herb Kovack, is shot at point-blank range right in front of him. Like the police, Nick is baffled: Why would anyone kill such an apparently gentle

Overview

One of the youngest winners of the Grand National, Nick “Foxy” Foxton suffered a near-fatal injury that cut short his career. Years later, he’s out for a day at the Grand National races when his colleague, Herb Kovack, is shot at point-blank range right in front of him. Like the police, Nick is baffled: Why would anyone kill such an apparently gentle soul?

Then Nick finds a threatening note in the dead man’s coat, and he begins to doubt how well he really knew his friend. And on discovering that Herb named him beneficiary in his will, Nick wonders why he’s been entrusted with the legacy. Is this a generous gift from a friend, or is it, in fact, a poisoned chalice?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Francis, having coauthored four horse-racing thrillers (Crossfire, etc.) with dad Dick Francis (1920–2010), proves himself more than capable of carrying on the family legacy alone. Shortly before the start of the Grand National, "one of the world's greatest sporting events," Nicholas Foxton, a financial adviser and former jockey, is standing next to Herb Kovak, who works for the same London financial services firm, when a gunman executes Kovak and escapes into the crowd of spectators. The police, who cancel the race, are irked that Foxton can't meaningfully describe the assassin. Later, Foxton finds a threatening note in the pocket of Kovak's coat that may provide a clue to the crime's motive. Foxton, who retired from the turf after breaking his neck in a race, can't resist playing detective, especially after he discovers that Kovak designated him as executor of his estate. While the ending will strike many readers as predictable, Francis shares his father's gift for brisk storytelling—and for creating a sympathetic, wounded, but determined hero. (July 26)
From the Publisher
“[Felix Francis] has one priceless advantage. He couldn’t have had a better teacher.”—The Washington Times

“A suspenseful read. Francis aficionados will hope that Felix chooses to carry on the family tradition on his own.”—Publishers Weekly on Crossfire

Kirkus Reviews

Nonpareil jockey/suspense writer Dick Francis's son Felix, who coauthored his late father's last four novels (Crossfire,2010, etc.), turns in a solo performance fully worthy of the family name.

There's nothing like having a colleague murdered in front of you to turn an inoffensive financial advisor into a freelance investigator. Nicholas Foxton has both a more pressing incentive than most self-made heroes, since his friendship with Herb Kovak, of Lyall & Black, was just beginning to deepen when Herb was executed by three shots minutes before the Grand National was to be run, and better qualifications, since he has both the computer skills to follow the money and the physique of a former jockey sidelined when he broke his neck seven years ago. Doctors have forbidden Nick from riding again, but they can't stop him in his unexpected capacity as Herb's executor and sole heir from looking into his estate, and it's one unholy mess. Herb, a transplanted American, owed thousands of pounds on a dozen credit cards and had only a nominal savings account. With some help from Herb's twin sister Sherri, however, Nick realizes that Herb also had a large income stream he kept carefully off the books. Meantime, Col. Jolyon Roberts, a client at Lyall & Black, has asked Nick to look into a hospital the Roberts Family Trust had supposedly built in Bulgaria—a hospital the Colonel's nephew Ben claims doesn't exist. And Nick's artist girlfriend Claudia, who's been suspiciously distant lately, thoroughly alarms him when she tells him the reason why. As the plot unfolds, Nick will fall into the hands of his enemies, come to terms with a dark family secret and get one more chance to climb on a horse and ride him to glory.

If all this sounds familiar, Francis fans can be assured that, like Nick's climactic mount, they're in reassuringly expert hands.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101529256
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/26/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
75,907
File size:
431 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“[Felix Francis] has one priceless advantage. He couldn’t have had a better teacher.”—The Washington Times

“A suspenseful read. Francis aficionados will hope that Felix chooses to carry on the family tradition on his own.”—Publishers Weekly on Crossfire

Meet the Author

Felix Francis is the younger of Dick Francis’s two sons. Over the last forty years Felix assisted with the research of many of the Dick Francis novels, not least Twice Shy, Shattered, and Under Orders. Since 2006, Felix has taken a more significant role in the writing, first with Dead Heat and then increasingly with the bestsellers Silks, Even Money, and Crossfire, all father-son collaborations. He lives in England.

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Dick Francis's Gamble 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hadn't planned to purchase Felix Francis' Gamble; as a long time fan of Dick Francis (I've read all his books), I didn't think anyone - even his son - could recreate the magic to which I've looked forward for over 30 years. Then I picked up the book and read the first page. He grabbed me immediately, and I bought it. All the Francis elements are present: the racing, the seemingly random murders which our Everyman protagonist must solve, the related conspiracy where the reader is educated about a field unrelated to horse racing, that upper class villain, and a personal subplot to make the protagonist's life real and compelling. The prose races along; I dropped everything to devote myself to the last third of the book. Readers will love the horseback ride. I did predict accurately the real villain, but anyone who has read all or most of Francis' mysteries will as well. One minor complaint I have - the random allusions shoved into the story: Arnold Palmer, Tanya Harding, and Lee Harvey Oswald. They seem contrived and unnecessary. However, any Dick Francis fan will enjoy spending time with Nicholas (Foxy) Foxton and his family. Felix, your father would be proud. "Heads you win."
cage47 More than 1 year ago
Because Felix Francis worked with his father he picked up on his writing style and added a bit of his own personality. The writing is slightly less crisp but the characters are interesting and the story a good one. This was going to be my 'give him a chance book' and Felix Francis came out on top.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All the familiar features of a Dick Francis novel are there to enjoy, but readers who have read more than one of the original Dick Francis mysteries will detect a slightly different tone, an undefined sense of "Something has changed" to the characters and story. I enjoyed the book and will re-read it, as I have re-read his father's books. I hope Felix will continue to write and develop his own style.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After breaking his neck when he was a jockey, Nicholas "Foxy" Foxton became a financial advisor at Lyall & Black, a small but profitable investment firm. Also employed by the company is Herb Novak. The pair attends the Grand National when someone shoots Novak while Foxton stands next to him. Foxton does not know what the killer looks because he looked at the gun when the murder occurred. Foxy is shocked to learn Novak named him estate executor and a beneficiary. He realizes Herb had a scam going on with internal gambling using his British credit cards to enable people in the United States to go on line to place bets. Pondering what he should do, Foxy decides he needs to identify the gamblers to end the betting scheme and locate the money Herb hid so he can pay off the estate's debts. A client informs Nicholas that an investment brought to the attention by one of the Lyall & Black advisors is bogus as the so called bulb factory in Bulgaria is nonexistent. Foxy investigates the legitimacy of the claim, but someone tries to kill him. Running for his life though unaware why Herb's assassin wants to kill him, Foxy's lover Claudia has been diagnosed with cancer. Talk about a chip off the old block, Felix Francis provides a winning thriller that his late father will be proud of. Filled with action and tense twists and red herrings, Nicholas holds the story line together as he is there for his lover and when danger stalks him, he goes to extraordinary lengths to keep his beloved Claudia safe as he does the unexpected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved every Dick Francis book I have ever read. If you love a good mystery and horses, these books are like chocolate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TWD More than 1 year ago
Great to see the old master and young journeyman at work once again! The plot and characters are excellent and well developed. A MUST BUY for any Dick Francis fan!
HeatherLB More than 1 year ago
I, like others, read this as a kind of trial, wondering how Felix would measure up to his father and was not disappointed. Sure, there were some differences. Dick Francis's books never seemed to date themselves with the exception of the eventual advent of computer usage and cell phones etc. But rarely did he mention anything from popular culture or politics, leaving the books with a certain timeless quality. Gamble has about 3-4 mentions of current events, or events that were recent or current when this was written, therefore leaving the reader with less a timeless quality. And I think that the protagonist is more wordy and conversational than Dick Francis's tend to be. However, leaving those two things behind, I very much enjoyed the book and even stayed up late last night to finish it. While I may have started as a Dick Francis fan, Felix has won me over. I look forward to more.
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Not up to his father's standards yet, but interesting and creditable nonetheless. Its time for Felix to develop his own characters, though. I'm not quite damning with faint praise, but it really isn't a book I'll read twice.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Felix Francis is following in his father's footsteps and that is encouraging. The Dick Francis elements are in place. We have the reluctant everyman hero, the racing backdrop, and the tidbits of info about an unusual occupation. At times the protagonist seems too be a bit lucky in his escapes from death, but overall Felix is well on his way to keeping the family tradition alive.
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WGFL More than 1 year ago
Another winner by Dick Francis.
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